Foster parents fighting for bill of rights

Foster parents fighting for bill of rights

What are the most important foster parents rights?

by Fox25 Boston

Some Massachusetts foster parents say they don’t have a voice in the system and are fighting for their own bill of rights.

We’re tired of feeling like they’re taking advantage of us…like we’re a babysitter.Quira Deng, former foster parent

The foster parents said common sense information they should know before a child is placed in their home, like health problems or safety concerns, is not being shared.

We don’t feel like we’re part of a team we don’t feel…like nobody regards us at all,” said Deng.

What are the most important foster parents rights?

Some of the parents testified Tuesday at the Statehouse, seeking a foster parents’ “bill of rights.”

One of the key issues in the bill is better communication, requiring the Department of Children and Families to provide information on a child’s behavior, family background, health, and how many times the child’s been moved before placement.

There’s been a number of cases where medical information or history of an individual’s behaviors have not been appropriately shared,” said Rep. Joseph McKenna, D-Worcester.

McKenna, co-sponsor of the bill, said not disclosing that information can have serious consequences.

Earlier this month, 25 Investigates reported on a Lowell area foster parent who said a foster child placed in her home sexually assaulted her then 4-year-old daughter. We aren’t identifying the family to protect the child.

The mother is suing DCF, claiming the case worker knowingly placed a sexual offender in her home without disclosing the risks. The case is pending.

Boston 25 News asked DCF about the foster parents’ bill of rights, a spokesperson told us, in part,

We are actively recruiting foster homes and adoptive families across the state and strive to build a large, diverse community of foster parents statewide.DCF spokesperson

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